As the University of Tennessee officials narrow their search for a new head football coach, local businesses expect a boost in sales to follow that announcement.
"The Tennessee brand is a good brand, year in and year out," said Jed Dance of Bacon & Company, who's Volunteer merchandise is sold in many local stores. "But, anytime there's a new coach or a new exciting player, that kind of pumps it up."
Dance says former coaches had signature clothing or accessories that fans tend to want for themselves. Lane Kiffin's visors and Derek Dooley's orange pants rank among the most popular items he's sold in recent years.
"They really like to get behind something, and it's kind of their way of really connecting with the program or the coach."
The trend is also reflected in sales Alumni Hall in Turkey Creek. With the upcoming coaching hire, plus holiday shoppers, employee Lindsey Rohling expects staff will soon be very busy.
"We anticipate, when the new coach is announced, that there will be a lot of excitement and a lot of Vol fans will be in and out to get some new Tennessee gear," she said.
She says fans continue to buzz about who will be selected for the next coaching position, but staff members aren't ordering merchandise based on speculation, alone.
"Like everyone else, we'll just wait and see!"